Ben Evans secures European Tour card after dramatic finale
Golf star Ben Evans secured a European Tour card for 2019 after a nerve-shredding finale at the Qualifying School final stage today (Thursday).
The Staplecross-based professional produced a birdie, par, par finish to his final round at Lumine Golf Club in Spain to earn his card on the mark.
The top 25 players and ties at the end of the epic six-round event earned European Tour playing rights for next year and Evans finished in an eight-way tie for 20th place on 16-under-par.
See also: * Ben Evans in superb form at European Tour Qualifying School* Ben Evans achieves top 10 finish in Kazakhstan Open* Ben Evans earns European Tour card after brilliant final roundEvans had looked pretty nailed on to make it as he sat on 19-under-par after 10 holes of his last round, but bogeys at the 11th and 12th, followed by a double bogey at the 15th, left him outside the all-important top 25.
The 31-year-old recovered to birdie the par five 16th, however, before parring the par three 17th and par five 18th under the most intense pressure to claim a coveted card.
His two-over-par final round of 73 on the Lakes Course was his only over-par round of the week.
Evans began with a four-under-par 68 on the Hills Course featuring an eagle on the par five seventh, four birdies, including three in four holes from the second, and two bogeys.
He followed that with a four-under-par 67 on the Lakes Course to move up 25 places to tied 18th. Starting from the 10th, Evans made two birdies and a bogey in his first nine holes before carding three more birdies in his second nine.
Evans dropped back to tied 30th after a one-under-par third round 71 on the Hills Course. Four birdies in his first 10 holes, starting from the 10th, lifted him up into the top eight at one stage, but one birdie, two bogeys and a double bogey in his last six holes meant he lost ground.
Evans moved up nine places to tied 21st courtesy of a three-under-par fourth round 68 on the Lakes Course.
Birdies on the fifth and sixth took Evans out in 33, and although he bogeyed the 15th, he finished strongly with birdies on the last two holes.
Evans moved up to tied eighth following a superb bogey-free six-under-par 65 on the Lakes Course in round five. Birdies at the third and seventh were followed by three more birdies in four holes from the 10th, plus another on the 17th.
Evans is no stranger to some Qualifying School drama. Last year he scraped in at tied 24th courtesy of a five-under-par final round 66.
He failed to make a cut in 13 events on the European Tour this year, but five top 20 finishes helped him to 56th on the second tier European Challenge Tour rankings.